Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Mortgage modification assistance



NEW YORK (CNN) -- The Obama administration has rolled out a new plan to help more Americans get mortgage modifications. The plan provides assistance to those who have lost their jobs or are underwater on their mortgage, owing more than their house is worth.

According to First American CoreLogic, nearly one in four American mortgage holders is underwater. If you are struggling to make your mortgage payments, a mortgage modification could be a way to stave off foreclosure.

CDs & Money Market
MMA 0.24%
$10K MMA 0.23%
6 month CD 0.34%
1 yr CD 0.55%
5 yr CD 1.31%

Find personalized rates:
 

Rates provided by Bankrate.com.

In a modification, your lender makes a change to your original mortgage agreement and you continue to make monthly payments. The lender either lowers your interest rate or stretches out the length or term of the loan so that your monthly payment is more affordable.

In some cases, your lender may be willing to forgive a portion of the loan principal.

With the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) in effect, eligible borrowers could have their month payments reduced to 31% of their pre-tax income.

Here's how to qualify for HAMP:

  • You must be the owner-occupant of your home.
  • You must have a mortgage balance less than $729, 750.
  • Mortgage payments must be greater than 31% of your income.

For a full list of qualifications, go to makinghomeaffordable.gov.

But beware of mortgage-modification scams.

Make sure you are getting legitimate, reliable help from a counselor who is knowledgeable about loan modifications.

The government provides this assistance for free. Call 1-888-995-HOPE to speak to a HUD-approved housing counselor.

If you think you have already been the victim of a mortgage-modification scam, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.

Talkback: Have you tried to get your mortgage modified? (See comments) To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.62%3.69%
15 yr fixed2.77%2.80%
5/1 ARM3.12%3.07%
30 yr refi3.61%3.69%
15 yr refi2.76%2.83%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 15,973.84 313.66 2.00%
Nasdaq 4,337.51 70.67 1.66%
S&P 500 1,864.78 35.70 1.95%
Treasuries 1.75 0.10 6.33%
Data as of 8:07pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 11.95 0.79 7.08%
General Electric Co 28.26 0.81 2.95%
Cisco Systems Inc 25.11 0.43 1.74%
Chesapeake Energy Co... 1.59 -0.19 -10.67%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 5.53 0.64 13.09%
Data as of 4:15pm ET

Sections

Investors need someone they can bring home to mother instead of bad boys (or girls) that may make their heart beat faster. Boring beats bold in this market. Here are 10 dependable stocks we love. Southwest (ticker symbol: LUV) is one. More

Cheap oil and slow global growth may not be the only culprits of the global market turmoil. There's growing concern that central banks are spooking the markets too. More

Eastern Illinois University laid off 198 staff members this week, and the college president is blaming the state government. More